DEVELOPMENT OF A CITY-WIDE TREE INVENTORY FOR THE CITY OF SEATTLE WASHINGTON
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractSeattle is the largest city in Washington State and has an estimated tree canopy cover of 28.1%. The health of the urban forest is a critical part of what gives the city its identity, as well as providing important ecosystem services to the city’s residents. The city is slowly losing its canopy through time, and the neighborhoods where canopy loss is happening the fastest have histories of economic and racial inequality. Various departments across the municipality are responsible for managing trees and they need to work together to manage the urban forest. Unfortunately, these departments each track only the trees they are directly responsible for. In this study I describe the methods used to design and create a combined tree inventory of all trees tracked and managed by the city of Seattle. I then use the resulting combined tree inventory to perform several example analyses that an urban forester at the city might perform. I found that this was a reliable method to manage the complex integration of many contributing data sources into a single, simple, user-friendly dataset while also supporting the inevitable changes made to the contributing datasets as business needs evolve.